Itogon folk thumb down Ampucao ESL

ITOGON, Benguet – Around 500 residents begged the Department of Environment and Natural Resources–Cordillera and other agencies not to allow the Engineered Sanitary Landfill (ESL) in Tapak, Ampucao.

In Resolution–Petition 2, series of 2012, the residents made known their call to various government agencies to disapprove the ESL.

The petitioners are residents along the Philex–Kias road, the upstream and downstream of the proposed ESL.

They claimed the proposed site is a protected area because it is under the Lower Agno Watershed Forest Reserve. Since it is within the watershed, the area should be protected and planted with more trees in support to Executive Order 26 or the National Greening Program of the government.

Moreover, the residents disapproved the proposed ESL because of the health hazards it will cause to the community. They said it could be a source of different cancers of stomach, liver, prostate, lungs, cervix or uterus, rectum and leukemia.

Apart from health hazards, the residents stated it will damage the environment which covers the water sources, marine lives, and agriculture. It can also add to air pollution.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by Benguet Governor Nestor Fongwan, Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan, Ampucao Punong Barangay and the contractor Dr. Cho Yong Seong on May 18, 2011.

The MOU revealed the plan is only to establish a Temporary Staging Area (TSA) as Phase 1 to be utilized by Baguio City for its garbage which is not being processed by their ERS machine.

The MOU further stated the TSA will be utilized for 25 years. La Trinidad, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay will also use the TSA.

However, the petitioners said “because of the plan to establish a TSA, it would mean an open dump site–like facility first. This will attract rodents and other insects in the area which will affect nearby residential areas.”

They added, “This will be like Alno sanitary landfill of La Trinidad, Benguet. The design is an ESL, but look at it today. The wastes are exposed attracting all kinds of flying and crawling insects and there are scavengers also in the area.”

The petitioners passed the resolution to the provincial board to collect support on their advocacy. Copies of the resolution were also submitted to DENR–CAR and other agencies for favorable action.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 24, 2012.


About taraki-ak

Taraki Lang

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